Sree Anantha Padmanabha Temple is one of the oldest temples of India. The temple itself has 1000’s of stories to tell with immaculate sculptures and mandapas. The entire Thiruvananthapuram city was built around this temple. It’s an architectural wonder and was nominated from India into last round of 7 Wonders of World. The building style is a mixture of Kerala and Tamil architecture. The temple has many structures inside, like musical pillars, golden Mandap, 500 pillared corridors famous for its sculptures and the large collection of temple mural paintings. The temple has a large clear pond called Padma Theertham, which is also the landmark.
The deity is Maha Vishnu in a rare reclining posture, called as “Ananth Asay Anam” or the lord’s sleep. The temple has a huge role in the history of Kerala, with the presiding deity even being crowned as Emperor of Travancore in the 18th century and all the rulers ruling the state in the name of the deity. The royal crown of Travancore is preserved inside the temple; though getting a glimpse of it is rare.
This temple belongs to Travancore Royal Family and guarded by Royal Palace Guards of Travancore (RPG) and Kerala Special Branch Police Force along with Sree Padmanabha’s Elite Mounted Guards. A unit of Kerala State Commando force protects the temple in its outer ring.
The temple has been in news, after a discovery of huge treasures kept in its cellars. A rough estimate makes it to an astronomic value of Rs 1.2 Trillion (US$21.72 billion), making it the richest temple in the world. Due to the discovery of this wealth, the temple and its zone became one of the most protected areas. Armed Police and Commandos have been deployed around the temple. Visitors must pass thro’ stringent security screening process. Shadow police force in civilian and temple dress do observe all visitors 24×7.